WASHINGTON, June 25, 2014 — The overreaching might of Thad Cochran has literally stolen the Mississippi senate race from Challenger Chris McDaniel. And in the process, he may have sent the GOP to the Phantom Zone.
Following McDaniel’s win on June 4, Cochran became the benefactor of the GOP establishment emergency fundraising machine.
“It’s disgraceful that self-described GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell, John McCain, the Chamber of Commerce, and the NRSC [National Republican Senatorial Committee] would champion a campaign platform of pork-barrel spending and insider dealmaking, while recruiting Democrats to show up at the polls,” said Matt Kibbe, president of the tea party group FreedomWorks.
The Republican Party just lost their claim to moral authority, CDN writer Al Maurer writes. In the next few years, either the Tea Party will return that party to its foundational principles or it will go the way of the Whigs. Either way, the GOP as we have known it is finished.
To many, the Cochran campaign’s use of calls to “scare” democrats afraid of losing federal funding that only Cochran’s cronyism could guarantee was reprehensible. Those “old school Washington” scare calls literally allowed the now seven-term senator to “steal” the election in the open primary state.
Communities Digital News writer Jim Picht noted that,
Cochran issued a strong appeal to black voters, and to urban women, two groups that typically go strongly Democratic. He emphasized his efforts to bring federal funds for jobs to Mississippi, to fund Head Start programs, and his support of health centers used most heavily by African-Americans. Cochran’s supporters spread word that McDaniel would cut food stamps and reject school funding.
They made this a Democrat-Republican contest, with Cochran as the Democrat.
Challenger McDaniel is not going gently into the night, because that is not the way its done in the Mississippi.
“We are not prone to surrender, we Mississippians. Before this race is over we have to be absolutely certain the Republican primary was won by Republican voters.”
A Mississippi law says that voters who participate in a party’s primary “must intend to vote for that party’s nominee in the general election. But in 2008, a federal appeals court ruled that the law is unenforceable.”
If you look closely at the flyer below, Cochran clearly violated the spirit of the law, if not running rough-shod over its letter by inviting people to break the law: “Anyone who did not vote in the June 3rd Democratic primary may vote in this Senate Run-Off on Tuesday, June 24. If anyones asks you who you are voting for now or in November, tell them it’s a secret ballot and you don’t have to answer them.”
And no one (really) thinks that Cochran would have won without the flyer, the calls, the stolen campaign signs and the scare tactics that played those Democratic voters into his pocket. And aren’t African Americans tired of being manipulated by Politicians, democrats and republicans alike?
Without an increase in vote from Democratic-leaning, African-American counties, Cochran would have lost by ~8%. http://t.co/k3Wc1b2TrM
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 25, 2014
Spin is that Cochran “expanded” his based and encouraged Mississippi’s African Americans to step over the line and vote for a Republican. Or is it vote against what the campaign framed as “evil Tea Party” candidate McDaniel?
— Charles C. Johnson (@ChuckCJohnson) June 25, 2014
The New York Times writes, “Race relations have improved over the last 45 years, and African-Americans made a coordinated effort to keep Mr. Cochran in office out of concern that his challenger, Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite, would be less inclusive.”
However the more telling news byte might be courtesy of satirist Steve Colbert, who unearthed a sound byte of the what can only be described as elderly politician laughing about “doing indecent things with animals” as a youth.
That and picking up pecans.